Following an announcement back in December and some renders that popped up a few months back, today the USB 3.0 Promoter Group announced the next-generation USB “Type-C” connector is now ready for production. That means that PC and smartphone manufacturers can now adopt the standard, which the Promoter Group describes as “the final piece in developing a single-cable solution” for the industry.

“Interest in the USB Type-C connector has not only been global, but cross-industry as well,” said Brad Saunders, USB 3.0 Promoter Group Chairman. “Representatives from the PC, mobile, automotive and IoT industries have been knocking down our door anticipating this new standard. This specification is the culmination of an extensive, cooperative effort among industry leaders to standardize the next generation USB connector as a long-lasting, robust solution.”

The new standard offers a number of notable improvements over previous implementations of USB and also provides a solution slim and powerful enough to work for both mobile device and PC makers. Some of the biggest benefits include its slimmer and reversible design. Much like Apple’s own Lightning cable used on its mobile devices, USB Type-C has a reversible orientation for plugging in the connector. It also supports a reversible cable direction. If Apple is to adopt the new standard to replace USB used on its MacBooks, it would also make Apple’s cable for iOS devices reversible on both sides, with the Lightning on one end and the new USB Type-C on the other.

The receptacle opening measures in at 8.4mm x ~2.6mm, which the press release notes is similar to the size of USB 2.0 Micro-B. As for speed, the new cable will offer SuperSpeed USB 10 Gbps (USB 3.1) and USB Power Delivery up to 100W. 

The new specification for USB Type-C is available at www.usb.org. Today’s press release also notes that the specification has now been “ transferred to the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) for ongoing management and the establishment of a compliance and certification program.”

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12 Responses to “Slimmer, reversible next-gen USB Type-C now ready for PCs & mobile devices”

  1. I wonder how long it will take for chipsets to appear in devices… Hopefully by this time next year. Also hoping Intel doesn’t drag it’s feet with this like USB 3.0

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    • This is USB 3.0, just a different form factor for the connector and cable. No new chipset or controller required.

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      • Technically, only the 3.1 variant which will provide the 100w power will be a “different cable”. This is simply a different plug on the end of the cable, and different receptacle for the cable to plug into. The wiring configuration is identical according to the specification, with the plug housing both sides and the cable still housing a single side. Basically, the inverse of Apple’s Lightning cable but same ultimate result.

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  2. Reblogged this on Taste of Apple Tech and commented:
    Perhaps we will see this debut on a 12″ Retina MacBook? Let’s see.

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  3. Awax (@Awax) says:

    With its small “tongue” in the middle of the connector, it looks VERY frail.

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    • Well, how many times have you broken off a MicroUSB plug, especially those in a cheap phone? (I’ve done it twice.) At 100w max draw, it doesn’t seem that unreasonable that some companies will start making Ultrabooks and Tablets that charge entirely with this plug, and when they break off because too much stress was placed on them without appropriate stress relief due to the extremely tiny plug???

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  4. PMZanetti says:

    Looking forward to this. This will lead the way to even slimmer devices that can fit many of these ports.

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  5. standardpull says:

    Thank goodness that the USB guys did something right. The original USB3 connector spec was designed by some idiot – big, complicated, inelegant. This is much better.

    But USB has a lousy track record – there are many USB connector standards over the years because they got it wrong the first time and second time around. So I don’t think I’ll invest a huge amount in this connector until it proves itself.

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  6. rafalb177 says:

    “Inspired” by Apple Lightning cable.

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  7. huges84 says:

    How many people complained about the lightning connector but will love this? How many people will credit Apple for making the connector simple? People forget that Apple sets the trend, even if they weren’t the first to think of it. Without Apple this never would have happened. Just clunky connectors to preserve backwards compatibility.

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  8. Is it really that difficult to plug in a USB device…please. Hardware manufacturing companies need new revenue so let’s exploit the stupid and lazy .

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  9. Mobile device with !00W continuous…I don’t think so Tim.

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